Llanelli RFC v Swansea RFC@Parc y Scarlets 26/12/08 Principality Premiership
Matches between these two great clubs first started way back in 1875 with Swansea RFC being Llanelli RFC’s oldest opponents.
Here on the eve of 2009, Swansea arrived at the new Parc y Scarlets determined to get their season back on track, while Llanelli the ‘Turks’ were hoping to maintain their good form as leaders of the Principality Premiership.
The ‘Jacks ‘came flying out of the blocks with an efficient set piece and pacey backs and were good value for their 14 points they scored within 11 minutes with tries from centre Dai Watts and No 8 Steffan Jones, full back James Dixon converting both.
However the lethargic looking Llanelli responded with almost their first attack in the 15th minute, when debutant second row Arwel Davies made a fine line-break and perfect pass for scrum half Gareth Davies to score and Luke Richards converting. Swansea should have scored a couple of more times after some weak home tackling allowed Swansea half backs Wells and Karauna to penetrate the home defence only to be denied by poor finishing. Their constant pressure did pay off in the 33rd minute when Dixon kicked a penalty for a 10 point lead and 3minutes later, against the run of play, a speculative kick and a mistake from centre Shelmerdine allowed the alert Mike Davies to re-gather and score. Richards added the conversion to cut the lead to 3 points, in a half where Llanelli were clearly below par and for Swansea,a lthough playing well, were missing golden chances and that coupled with the yellow cards of Wells and captain Clatworthy was keeping the league leaders in contention..
At the start of the second half Coaches Fisher & Cooper introduced Scarlet scrum half Silo Martens and prop Ian Jones and both made a huge impact on the game. Martens seemed to lift his pack of forwards with his physical presence and 23year old Ian Jones producing an all round game that if he could consistently achieve, could see him play at regional level. Within 15 minutes Llanelli had scored two converted tries, a penalty try plus a Nick Reynolds touch down with Richards adding the extras.
Swansea prop Tim Evans was then given their third ‘yellow’ but Swansea did manage two further penalties from Dixon, but Llanelli finished off their bonus point victory with a try from outstanding skipper Craig Hawkins and a fine 80 metre try from ‘The Duke’ Nick Jones. Outside half Luke Richards again converted for yet another flawless kicking display.
Perhaps the only blot on a good second half performance was the indiscipline and ‘yellow card’of second row Adam Powell in the 70th minute, who up until that point had put in another top performance along with Bater and Godfrey.
Next up for Llanelli RFC will be away to Llandovery RFC in the Principality Premiership on Saturday 3rd January Kick off 2:30pm.
Team15.Matthew Jacobs14.Nick Jones.13.Nick Reynolds.12.Matthew Brayley11.Mike Davies10.Luke Richards 9.Gareth Davies.1.Shaun Hopkins.2.Craig Hawkins© 3.Simon Gardner.4.Adam Powell.5.Arwel Davies.6.James Bater.7.Nic Cudd 8.Dan Godfrey16.Ian Jones(40)17.Chris Thomas(77)018.Luke Kendall(79) 19Simon Peters(24)20.Silo Martens(40)21Mark Harvey(62). 22 Daniel Norton(70)
Half Time… Llanelli RFC 14-17 Swansea RFC
Final………. Llanelli RFC 42-23 Swansea RFC
Referee Simon Harris TJ 1 Chris Williams TJ 2 Andrew Wilson